Heat sign Yassine Ghomari, Past Okanagan Lakers point guard returns.

Yassine Ghomari returns to UBC to guide the men's basketball team.

The UBC Heat are pleased to welcome Yassine Ghomari to the Men’s Basketball team after the 6’ guard has announced his commitment and signed on to play for the Heat in the 2011-2012 season. Ghomari is a returnee to UBC’s Okanagan campus, having played for the Okanagan Lakers during the 2007-2008 season, during which the team won the Silver Medal at the BCCAA Championships.
Ghomari said that the team’s Head Coach, Darren Semeniuk, was “a big factor” in his decision to come back to the Okanagan. “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. We get along well, and he was a big factor for sure. He knows the game well…and he just gets the best out of his players.”

Coach Semeniuk had great things to say about Ghomari as well, “Yassine is a very tough player who loves to compete. When I recruited him out of High School I always thought of him as a CIS player, never as a college player. I really like the fact that Yassine is going to take the court, regardless of opponent, with intimidation never being a factor. With this kind of attitude he will be the perfect guy to take this team into Canada West in September.”

Ghomari in his Laker days. Nov. 2007 (Photo by Rob Brown)

Ghomari had been studying in the Arts program during the ’07-08 season, his Rookie year with the Lakers. Before his first season as rookie he had played for the Kitsilano Blue Demons, a perennial powerhouse in the AAA High School league. He finished his Grade 12 year as a First Team Provincial Tournament All-Star. His stardom would continue, when, as a rookie with the Lakers, he was a Provincial Tournament All-Star and worked his way to becoming the team’s starting Point Guard at the 2008 CCAA Basketball Championships.

Following his first season with the Lakers, he moved to Vancouver, where he worked and attended Langara College then transferring to the University of Victoria for this past year. He had played a season for the Falcons during the 2009-10 season garnering a BCCAA provincial All-Star, but did not suit up for the Vikes, and has been anxious to get back onto the court. The Heat’s move to Canada West next year only tantalized his taste buds. “That was one of the factors when I made the decision as well,” he said, with regards to the Heat’s move. “I was done with the college league…I wanted to play CIS.”

The CIS is a whole other ballgame, however, and Ghomari, having seen the likes of the Vikes play, knows what’s coming. “The players are more skilled, a lot of bigger, and stronger. We’re going to have to hit the weight room.” The atmosphere at games will be a lot different too, he says. “It’s a lot different. Playing at Langara, we didn’t really have a crowd. UBCO has always been good with supporting the basketball teams.”

He will be studying Human Kinetics starting in September, after having taken some of his electives and pre-requisites at Langara. It will be exciting for him to see and be with old friends and teammates, but most importantly, to finally get back to what means a lot to him: his love for the game.

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